|Topic / Topic starter||Replies||Last post|
Does Ballmer really expect top free agents to sign up for this?
VFHS » 05/7/18 » 11:21am
05/9/18 » 3:01pm
OT: Other teams' offseason plans
ClipperSisyphus » 05/7/18 » 11:41am
05/8/18 » 10:11am
gilp5 » 05/3/18 » 9:55am
05/5/18 » 11:14pm
Serious trade ideas for Austin
ClipperSisyphus » 04/26/18 » 2:27pm
05/4/18 » 7:46pm
Wes Opts In
gilp5 » 05/3/18 » 9:56am
05/4/18 » 12:56pm
It seems as though Doc Rivers’ phenomenal coaching has earned him a new contract
According to Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times, “all indications” are that Doc Rivers and Steve Ballmer have agreed on a multi-year extension for the Clippers’ head coach, who just completed the fourth season of a five-year contract:
Although nothing has been made official, all indications are that Rivers and Ballmer have reached an agreement on a multiyear extension that will keep Rivers here for a remodeling job that will begin soon.
Rivers’ coaching, along with the rest of the team and locker room, deteriorated as the Lob City era wore on—and he certainly has his share of the blame to bear for the on-court and locker-room tensions that caused the Chris Paul and Blake Griffin-led Clippers teams to fall short of ever reaching a Western Conference Finals.
But, as the Clippers move on from that era, trading Paul and Griffin, allowing J.J. Redick to leave in free agency, and declining to offer a serious long-term extension to DeAndre Jordan, Doc has stuck around. While many of Doc’s past failures can no longer be made up for, he made the most of his opportunities this season: bringing together a mismatched crew of injury replacements to finish above .500. Doc spoke on several occasions about using more gameplans this season than he ever had in his career, as he had to adjust to 21 different roster players, a major in-season trade of his best player, major injuries to four starters, and 37 different starting lineups.
It’s unclear what exactly Plaschke means by “all indications.” He states that “nothing has been made official,” which is clear enough by, well, the lack of an official announcement. But it’s a bit peculiar, at least, that he stopped short of pulling “sources” to actually report an extension was in the works, especially because he doesn’t even say that talks are progressing, but rather that those “indications” are that an agreement has already been reached. We’ll see the rest of this unfold in the days and weeks to come.
When the Clippers’ season ended last month, their two biggest personalities were standing on separate darkened ends of a long Staples Center hallway, the team’s immediate future hanging in the murky middle.
On one end, the coach said he might not stick around. On the other end, the owner could...
The 2018 NBA Draft is immensely important for the Los Angeles Clippers; whose direction for the next several seasons may rely solely on this draft. The Los Angeles Clippers need everything to go right in the 2018 NBA Draft. Right now, the team is at a bit of a crossroads. The draft will help the Clippers […]
Los Angeles Clippers: The two ideal picks in the 2018 NBA Draft - LA Sports Hub - LA Sports Hub - A Los Angeles Sports Site - Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels, USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, Ducks, Galaxy
Montrezl Harrell was spectacular for the Clippers this season, winning the hearts of fans and crushing the souls of opponents.
Name: Montrezl Harrell
Years in NBA: 3
Key Stats: Averaged 11.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 17.0 minutes per game (76 games played, 3 started). Shot 63.5% from the field and 62.6% from the free throw line (2.9 attempts).
2017-2018 Salary: $1,471,382
Future Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent
Montrezl Harrell was not regarded as a key piece to the Chris Paul trade last June. Patrick Beverley was tabbed to be one of the Clippers’ starting guards. Lou Williams immediately took the role of sixth man. Even Sam Dekker had somewhat high expectations as a young, athletic wing. But Harrell was just a young, high-energy big man who hadn’t even been in the Rockets’ rotation much of the year. And with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on the team (and Willie Reed’s addition in free agency shortly thereafter), it didn’t appear that Montrezl would be playing all that much for the Clippers either. How wrong we all were.
Montrezl started the season getting only scrap minutes behind Willie Reed, who was the firm backup center as a “poor man’s DJ”. As the team got increasingly beaten up, however, Harrell began receiving minutes alongside Reed at power forward. His superb play began to push Reed out of the rotation, and by mid-December Harrell was ensconced as the reserve center. As the season went along, Harrell got better and better, and his role increased correspondingly. With Lou Williams frequently drawn into the starting lineup and playing extended minutes, Montrezl was tasked with keeping the bench units afloat, a job he responded to with aplomb. His season probably culminated in the month of March, when his scoring per36 minutes was at a staggering 27.8, and he seemingly could not be stopped. Montrezl’s efforts were not enough to get the Clippers into the playoffs—but he became a legend along the way regardless.
Montrezl Harrell came into the season expected to be an energy big off the bench who could roll to the rim off pick and rolls and finish. While he did those things, and did them exceedingly well, his greatest asset this season was his unstoppable scoring from the post. When Trez got the ball within eight feet of the basket, either with his back to it or facing up, a bucket was almost sure to follow, usually from one of his patented running hook shots. He was a dominant scorer all season, and only improved as the year ran along. There were even times he flashed a little midrange jumper, a weapon that would unlock even more of his inside game if he gets more comfortable with it. For the season, Montrezl averaged 23.3 points per 36 minutes, and did so on ridiculous efficiency (3rd in the league in effective field goal percentage, 8th in true shooting percentage). As an added bonus, Harrell rarely turned the ball over, despite his high number of shot attempts and usage.
Montrezl’s energy carried over to other aspects of his game too. Despite being undersized as a center, Trez generally held his own on the boards: he clearly was nowhere near the rebounder DeAndre Jordan was, but most times that difference didn’t seem to harm the Clippers much. On defense, Harrell again made up for lack of stature (and middling defensive instincts) with his activity and effort. He dove on the floor for loose balls, ran into passing lanes, and swatted away shots, and did it all while also being the best Clipper big man at guarding shooters/smaller players out on the perimeter.
Montrezl had a spirit and vigor that was contagious, igniting both the crowd and his teammates. He quickly became a fan favorite, getting cheers and applause behind only DJ, Boban, and Lou for the latter part of the season. His one man fastbreaks were the stuff of legend, and each one was a blessing. He was just a blast to watch, perhaps the most purely fun Clipper on the court this season, and someone who could always be depended on to give his all. Montrezl was one of the best bench players in the entire NBA, and the trifecta of advanced stats (Win Shares, Box Plus Minus, Real Plus Minus, and Net Rating all had him as a strong positive), regular stats, and eye test all depict how much he contributed to the Clippers’ year. What a season.
Despite his greatness, Montrezl is not a perfect basketball player (just close). As mentioned above, his lack of size meant the Clippers gave up more offensive rebounds with him in the game and were a weaker defensive team around the basket. While Harrell is quick enough on the perimeter, he’s not a great defensive player, and was certainly a part (albeit a small one) of the Clippers’ defensive struggles over the last two months of the season. Although his recognition and awareness should continue to improve as his reps in the NBA increase, there’s nothing that can be done about the height.
On offense, Montrezl is somewhat limited outside of the post. His midrange jumper showed flashes of being effective, but he used it infrequently, partially due to a slow release on his shot. Sometimes teams would lay off him, and he couldn’t punish them for it. Trez also isn’t someone who looks to pass a whole lot. He’s not truly a black hole, but he definitely has blinders on when attacking the basket, and sometimes this led to poor shots when teammates were open on the perimeter. Again, more awareness of where teammates are on the court could do wonders.
Finally, Harrell’s tremendous output of energy meant he got tired swiftly. The effect he had on the court usually made that expense worth it. However, there were times where he ran out of gas and had to be subbed out when he had a real advantage over his opponent, which cost the Clippers. Montrezl is incredibly fit and chiseled, but conditioning can always be improved, and that along with superior pacing could enable him to play more minutes per game in the future.
Future with Clippers:
Montrezl is a restricted free agent this summer, and whether the Clippers re-sign him might largely come down to factors outside his (and even their) control. DeAndre Jordan has a player option, and if he opts out of it to go elsewhere, the Clippers would have a massive hole at center—a hole that could at least partially be filled by Trez. On the other hand, the Clippers will probably have two lottery picks in the draft, and it’s a strong possibility that one of the players chosen will be a big man. If the Clippers really like the guy they get, and think he can contribute in his rookie season, the need to bring Montrezl back diminishes.
The most likely course the Clippers will take is to discuss things with Montrezl, but not offer anything officially (unless they believe they can get him for cheap), instead letting other teams dictate the market. After all, the Clips can match any deal for Trez if they wish. While Harrell had a phenomenal season for the Clippers, there are real doubts as to whether or not he can be a starting player due to defense, rebounding, and fatigue issues, and those might be enough to scare a lot of teams away from a big offer. Hopefully, the Clippers can bring Montrezl back on a reasonable deal, and he can continue destroying opposing bench units as a Clippers’ reserve for years to come.
Kawhi Leonard’s rocky relationship with the San Antonio Spurs seems to be coming to an end, prompting both LA teams, the Clippers and Lakers, to be rumored destinations. Things are not going good in San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard. Having missed nearly an entire year, Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs has been questioned. These tensions […]
Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers makes more sense than to the Lakers - LA Sports Hub - LA Sports Hub - A Los Angeles Sports Site - Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels, USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, Ducks, Galaxy
Milos provided a ton of flash in his rookie campaign.
Name: Milos Teodosic
Years in NBA: Rookie
Key Stats: 9.5 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game (42% FG and 38% 3PT) in 25.2 minutes per game (45 games played, 36 starts)
2017-2018 Salary: $6,000,000
Future Contract Status: Player option for next season valued at $6.3 million. If he opts in, only $2.1 million is guaranteed.
Coming to the NBA for the first time is always an adjustment. Whether coming from college or overseas, players have to adjust to different styles and bigger, more athletic opponents. Milos’ season was pretty impressive by those standards—despite some issues, he had a strong positive impact as a rookie—but it’s actually even more impressive when we consider the other contextualizing factors. Not only did Milos have to deal with adjusting to the NBA game, but his role had to evolve as the season went on, from the team’s opening-night starting shooting guard to eventually handling major point guard duties after Patrick Beverley was injured.
Additionally, Milos spent the entire season struggling with a plantar fascia injury that he suffered on just the second night of the season. It initially kept him out for over a month, and after his return it restricted his minutes, forced him to sit out back-to-backs, and ultimately cost him almost half of his rookie season. Even when it wasn’t forcing him off of the court, that injury may have been limiting him on the court—explaining some times when his already-poor defense was almost so bad as to make him unplayable.
There are a lot of good things that Milos brings to a basketball team, but maybe the simplest way to put it is that the Clippers were simply better when he played. They had a 29-16 record in Milos’ 45 appearances, compared to just 13-24 in the 37 games that he missed. Now, there are some other factors at play here—both the Clippers’ early 9-game losing streak and their 1-6 stumble to close the season came with Teodosic sidelined.
Still, the eye test confirms the notion that Milos made the Clippers a better team. Whenever he was able to stay on the floor defensively, his offensive presence seemed to inspire a contagious increase in ball movement and offensive production that went well beyond plays that he actually scored or assisted on. On an individual level, Milos brought a dynamic wrinkle to the Clippers’ offense that was in short supply at the guard positions—phenomenal passing in the pick-and-roll. The only Clippers who averaged more assists than Milos were Blake Griffin and Lou Williams, who each averaged over double Milos’ shot attempts. His 26.2 AST% was right with Griffin and Williams for best on the team, while he had the highest 3PAr on the team with one of the best percentages from deep.
There’s also reason to believe that Milos’ shooting would improve if he returned for a second season—he shot just 28.6% from deep in December before drastically improving his percentages as the season went on. His combination of quick release, high volume, and high efficiency makes him a really valuable floor-spacer when he isn’t on the ball.
Look, there’s no hiding it. Milos doesn’t defend. It’s never been a strength of his in Europe, and passing 30 years old, moving to the NBA, and suffering a chronic foot injury wasn’t going to help matters. It seems as though fast, high-scoring guards are becoming more common on NBA teams, leaving fewer opportunities for the Clippers to hide Milos defensively. At times, especially when it seemed that Milos’ foot was troubling him, there were times when his offensive presence failed to make up for him being a sieve defensively, causing his presence to be detrimental to the team. Fortunately, it should get a little bit easier next season, when Patrick Beverley should be available to take on the tough defensive assignments, allowing the Clippers to play Milos and Lou Williams together much less.
Beyond the defensive woes, Milos definitely struggles with turnovers on the offensive end. He has a tendency to try for flashy, no-look passes, or to attempt to fit the ball into tiny windows—amazingly impressive displays of passing when it works, but significantly less likely to work than simpler plays. His TOV% was significantly higher than the Clippers’ other ball-handlers.
Future with Clippers:
Milos has a pretty unique contract situation, where both parties have the opportunity to sever ties this summer. First, Milos will have to make a decision on his player option in late June. If he chooses to opt in, the Clippers will have until July 15th to release him and only owe him a third of his $6.3 million salary for 2018-19.
Ultimately, I think Milos takes the money to come back to the Clippers—he’d have to really be homesick for a move back to Europe to pass up that salary, and he won’t top it in free agency this summer. Once he opts in, I expect that the Clippers will keep him. He’ll be a useful veteran roster piece for next season as they attempt to balance competing for a playoff berth with developing young talent.